Everyone experiences feeling "down" now and again, but clinical depression symptoms are often pronounced, chronic and prolonged. This disease affects close to 20 million Americans every year, and it's an illness that can be treated with therapy and drugs.
And though clinical depression can be treated, many patients don't seek treatment - often believing they're just going through a slump or experiencing a down period that will pass. They might look at their symptoms and think they're related to stress at work, problems at home or the everyday course of life's ups and downs. But, if this affliction is left untreated, it can adversely afflict almost every aspect of an individual's life.
So, what are the clinical depression symptoms, and how do you identify them? To learn, keep reading.
Persistent Poor Mood
If you're consistently experiencing a sad, "empty" or even anxious mood, this could be a sign of the disease. Typically, if these feelings continue for more than several weeks, those are indicators of the disease.
Sleeping and Eating Patterns Change
When a person begins to suffer from clinical depression, they will often notice a pronounced change in sleeping habits - like being unable to sleep through the night or sleeping excessively and feeling unable to get out of bed. Other changes include a change in eating habits, whether it's binging or a dramatic drop in appetite.
Since an increase or decrease in appetite or a change in sleeping patterns can affect the body physically, these symptoms can even become contributing causes.
Reduced Interest in Sex
A loss of happiness and interest derived from enjoyable activities, like sex, can be an indicator of the disease. Often patients see a significant drop in their sex drive.
Irritability and Anger
When individuals deal with surmounting stress of clinical depression, they can often become aggressive, irritable or moody.
Unexplained Aches and Pains
Many people suffering from this plight will see their disease manifest itself in incurable and mysterious physical ailments such as chronic pain, headaches or digestive problems.
Trouble Focusing and Remembering
An inability to focus on tasks at school or work along with marked short-term memory loss can be an indicating symptom. This symptom can often frustrate and aggravate the patient, therefore worsening the effects of the depression.
Feelings of Guilt or Severe Depression
Those suffering from severe depression may experience unwarranted, yet strong feelings of guilt or worthlessness. In addition, ongoing thoughts of death or suicide as an answer is often a clear sign of clinical depression.
It's important to remember that many of the clinical depression symptoms aren't your typical everyday reactions to stress. Depression is a medical illness that can and should be effectively treated. If you are experiencing any or all the above symptoms over an extended period of time, you should consult with your doctor.